Monterey Car Week, a part of the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, in northern California has become a showcase for concept and production luxury car introductions.
But yesterday’s reveal at the event by a joint project between a Beirut, Lebanon and a China-based company was a complete surprise — a battery-electric minivan.
The ICONIQ Seven electric-family hauler is the result of Beirut’s W Motors and China’s ICONIQ Motors collaboration.
W Motors is best known for the Lykan Hypersport, which made an appearance in Fast and Furious 7.
ICONIQ Motors was formed in China in 2014 with the purpose of creating a minivan, or multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) as it’s called outside of North America.
As the name implies, the van’s spacious interior seats seven and the two companies seem focused on promoting it for use as a taxi or on demand ride-hailing service, which seems to be a good fit for the Chinese market.
The show vehicle, like nearly all minivans, has a boxy shape for maximum interior space and a flat roof.
Where it shakes up a pretty boring segment is an angular design that features suicide doors, a bold front end and full-width taillights.
Like many recent concept vehicles, conventional outside mirrors are replaced by cameras, which will become legal in Japan this fall and make their debut on a production car.
W Motors labels the ICONIQ Seven as an ‘affordable ultimate MPV’ with engineering courtesy of Magna Steyr, but doesn’t provide any details about the electric drivetrain or driving range.
While Tesla Motors says it will produce the Model X electric van, Volkswagen promises the Budd-E and Mercedes-Benz is working on electric Sprinter vans, it’s ironic that the relative unknown companies are presenting a near-production all-electric van.
The closest model to the ICONIQ Seven is Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that will find dealer showrooms in late fall.
A big question is, will Korea’s Hyundai Motors approach W Motors about the ICONIQ name, which is close to the Ioniq badge on its upcoming line up of electric and plug-in electric cars?